A study of symptom profile and diagnostic break up of psychotic illness among children and adolescents in a tertiary care hospital

  • Raman K
  • Iniyan S
  • Venkatraman N
  • Lavanya S


Aim: The study aims to delineate the symptom profile of children and adolescents diagnosed with psychotic illnesses (F20-F29 as per ICD 10 diagnostic criteria).  It also attempts to study the diagnostic break-up among psychotic subgroup. 

Methods and Material: A 3-year retrospective chart review of children and adolescents registered with child guidance clinic in a general hospital psychiatry setting, Chennai. The study uses a semi-structured proforma that attempts to evaluate socio-demographic details, clinical data about illness, symptom profile, diagnosis, comorbidity, and treatment plan. 

Results: The total number of records fulfilling the inclusion criteria was 75. Adolescent girls constituted around 52% of the total sample, and 48% were adolescent boys. The diagnostic subgroup that was predominant in our sample was acute polymorphic psychosis without symptoms of schizophrenia (30.7%) followed by unspecified nonorganic psychosis (26.7%) and schizophrenia (21.3%). The predominant symptoms cluster in our group was that of behavioural and perception symptoms with the least of catatonic and negative symptom clusters. Risperidone was the most commonly used antipsychotic in almost 80% of cases, as documented in clinical literature. 

Conclusion: The study finding helps to delineate the myriad clusters of symptoms among early-onset psychotic illness. The varied symptom profile highlights the need to identify complex presentation at an early stage, need to screen and follow up on the course of nonspecific symptoms and to determine the treatment duration appropriately.

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